It makes perfect sense to keep our old smartphones for as long as possible since these gadgets tend to be expensive, and they’re something we’d likely be saving money for—for a few weeks or even a few months. However, as much as we would like to keep our smartphones running for years, there will come a time when it will reach the end of its life cycle. It will slow down, experience errors, or just outright conk out.
While the phones’ hardware do not typically slow down over their lifetime, the software and applications these phones use tend to become larger and more complex through the years, which means they will perform more computations and take up more storage space in the long run. This is what eventually slows down a phone.
If you have had your phone for a good two years, but you aren’t sure about whether or not you should replace it already, this short guide should help you. We’ll list down some of the telltale signs that your phone is due for a replacement.
You Can’t Get Security Patches Anymore
This is arguably the most important sign that you need a new smartphone. As a smartphone user, you are bound to use your phone not just in your home but also in many public places, where you will likely access various public networks offering different levels of security. You might also your phone to perform important financial transactions or to keep sensitive data for your work or business.
All of these things can increase your chance of being exposed to security risks, which can then be exacerbated by outdated iOS or Android security settings. If Apple or Google no longer pushes those regular automatic security patches for your phone, it’s time to replace it.
Your Operating System Can’t be Updated Anymore
Smartphones differ in terms of how long they receive operating system updates from Apple and Google, but historically, iPhones tended to receive updates for much longer. The iPhone 5s, for example has been receiving all major iOS updates since it was released in September 2013, with the latest one being the upcoming iOS 12 update of 2018. This will be the sixth major version of the iOS that the device will be supporting. Other devices, especially Android smartphones, tend to have shorter support durations.
Security patches often come bundled with general operating system upgrades, so if you can’t upgrade your operating system anymore, it’s likely that you will no longer get security patches anymore either. However, on top of security fixes, operating system updates also typically bring in improved phone features and enhanced compatibility with various applications and devices. This is why if you can’t update your phone’s operating system anymore, it’s best to get a new phone.
Your Phone Keeps Crashing, Freezing, or Shutting Down
If your phone is randomly crashing, freezing, or shutting down, it could be a sign of software problems. Under normal circumstances, these problems can be easily avoided if you keep your device’s operating system and apps fresh with their latest versions. Moreover, you can manage your phone’s memory regularly. Managing your smartphone’s memory can involve restarting your device on a daily basis, deleting unnecessary apps and files, clearing your Internet browser, deleting call logs, clearing cached data, and so on.
However, if you’ve done all of the above and your phone is still experiencing the aforementioned problems, then it’s possible that your device could no longer handle the software updates meant for faster, more advanced smartphones. Back up your data immediately, and get a replacement phone before you lose some of your most important files.
Your Phone Is Terribly Slow, and It’s Affecting Your Daily Tasks
Just like preventing software errors that lead to random crashes, there are also ways to speed up a slow phone, including the disabling of motion and animation effects, closing down unused apps, restricting background data use, clearing cached data, freeing up some storage space, removing widgets (in Android phones), and replacing the battery (in older iPhone models like the iPhone6 and the iPhone 6s).
However, if none of these techniques help to make your phone less sluggish, it’s probably time to consider upgrading to a new device. This is especially true if your phone is taking way too long to perform very basic tasks like capturing a photo, opening email applications, and responding to taps and swipes. Trust us, delaying the upgrade to avoid the cost of buying a new phone is totally not worth the frustration and exasperation, and certainly not if you use your phone for work or business.
Your Phone Is Constantly Running Out of Storage Space
Naturally, there are a few solutions out there that can help you solve the problem of limited smartphone storage space, including the use of cloud services to save your files in, regularly transferring your files to your computer or hard drive, or expanding your phone’s storage space with an SD card if it has a slot for one.
However, using a cloud service might not be something everyone can afford, while constantly transferring files might not always be a convenient thing to do. Moreover, not all phones can be equipped with an SD card, and even those that can might not always allow users to save the most important apps to the card. These are more than enough reasons to consider buying a new phone with a larger internal memory. If you are a big data user and you use a lot of apps, do yourself a favor and replace your smartphone now.
Bonus: Should I Replace my Phone If My Battery Life Has Become Poor?
The Internet is rife with articles telling people to replace their smartphones when their batteries no longer last as long as they used to before. However, it’s actually quite easy to get the battery replaced by your phone’s service center, and it doesn’t really cost that much. Oftentimes, simply replacing the battery can solve performance issues in a significant way, especially if you are using an older iPhone. As a case in point, check out the video below created by YouTube user Bennett Sorbo. The video compares the performance of an iPhone 6s before and after its battery was replaced.
Remember that Apple recently confirmed that it’s deliberately throttling the performance of older iPhones with aging batteries. This means that replacing your iPhone battery is likely to solve those throttling issues immediately.
Replacing your smartphone is not always an easy decision to make, especially if you don’t have the budget to get a brand new device at the moment. However, with the pace of technology being so fast these days, there comes a time when the need to get a new phone becomes unavoidable. Hopefully, this short list serves as a useful guide that you can use when making this important purchase decision.